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Smart Family Podcast

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Smart Family Podcast

Toni Nieuwhof & Dr. Rob Meeder

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Do you ever feel like being at home isn’t what you thought it would be? Somehow, it just seems to fall short. You try so hard to juggle the moving pieces and keep everyone happy, but you feel like you’re surviving instead of thriving. There’s so much advice about parenting and adult relationships, it’s hard to focus on what you really need to know. Let us help you. We started The Smart Family Podcast with you in mind. We exist to offer you high quality, practical advice to help you strengthe ...
 
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When we think about travelling we imagine going to exotic places and great weather! But while that may be true (hopefully) for part of the trip, often there are challenging times as well - both enroute and at your destination. This is especially true when you are travelling with kids, and even moreso when they are anxious, inflexible or neurodivers…
 
For some families camp is a sure sign of summer and a childhood staple. For other families - maybe not so much. What are camps all about anyways? Is my kid ready for camp? How do camps develope their leaders? These are legitimate questions and we throw them like a sticky smore at Rich Birch - camp director extraordinaire and leadership expert. You …
 
There were two times during their earlier years of married life when our guests, Alisa and Tony DiLorenzo, were contemplating divorce. They were feeling emotionally disconnected and their sex life was flatlined. But they were both engaged just enough to try something they never had done before. It was a decision they made about their sex life that …
 
Ever been perplexed at a boy's behaviour? If so, you'll appreciate this conversation with counselling expert David Thomas which we had exactly 2 years ago. He has been counselling kids and families for years, with a focus on boys. David has a lot to share about how boys develop and communicate, what makes them tick and how to understand their heart…
 
Episode 34 with child psychologist Mona Delahooke was posted a year ago and remains our top episode on the show. No wonder - Mona's straightforward explanation of why children behave the way they do really resonated with so many listeners. Based on concepts from her book Beyond Behaviors, Mona gives us practical advice on how to address challenging…
 
Episode 28 with Dr. Russell Barkley on ADHD was so popular with our listeners, we wanted to feature it for our new listeners. Know someone who's dealing with ADHD in their family? Do your friend a huge favour and share this episode! Our guest deals with these questions: What is ADHD exactly? Aren't all kids normally a little hyperactive? Can it be …
 
We loved this conversation with Dr. Natasha Beck (well-known as @drorganicmommy or drorganicmommy.com) because she covers a broad range of super-practical topics, especially for parents of young children. If you've been a parent of a toddler for a minute, you know how challenging it can be to instil healthy eating habits. In this episode, our guest…
 
This bonus episode follows our conversation last week with Dr Anita Federici. We take a more in-depth look at the medical issues associated with eating disorders with Andrea Logan, a Nurse Practitioner on the front lines of the pandemic-related eating disorder surge. We discuss the recent trends observed by Andrea and her team, and how the team wor…
 
One of the most drastic impacts of COVID 19 on mental health has been the surge of eating disorders. For many people, eating disorders are hard to understand - eating just seems like such a basic and usually pleasurable human need. How does someone not see the impacts of disordered eating on their physical health? How does an eating disorder start?…
 
How would you respond if your child said they wanted to be an artist when they grow up? It seems like we tend to think of art as a hobby and might even steer our kids away from being artists. World renowned artist Cbabi Bayoc has a different message: encourage creativity in your kids and it will help them grow in all areas of their lives. Furthermo…
 
In this episode, we have the privilege of hearing from a divorce attorney who has a fresh take on financial planning prior to taking your vows. Atlanta attorney Aaron Thomas maintains that couples benefit from a meaningful process of financial disclosure and negotiations prior to marrying, because compared with prior decades, the financial implicat…
 
So pleased to welcome leadership expert Kadi Cole to the podcast. Do you have a child in whom you see leadership potential? Are girls being held back from leadership by thoughts within their own head? If you have a budding leader at home, you will love our conversation with leadership expert Kadi Cole. We examine why risk taking and decision making…
 
Wow! Episode 50! And what a privilege to add another expert voice to the podcast. Today we talk with mental health therapist and children's book author Christina Furnival. She speaks from her own experience and research on the topic of boundaries. We shouldn't expect our kids to be friends with everyone - there are limits. In fact setting limits sh…
 
Ned Johnson has decades of experience as an expert tutor working with teens and parents on standardized test performance. In their book, The Self-Driven Child, he and Dr. William Stixrud share the postures and practices that help kids optimize their performance, while nurturing their relationships with their parents. Hear more about how considering…
 
We are so pleased to have marriage and family therapist Ron Deal back with us to discuss the blended family. If you are in a position of preparing to blend families with your new partner's family, or adding a step-parent to the mix, what are some pitfalls to avoid and issues to discuss? We ask all the tough questions: What do we call each other? Sh…
 
When a spouse complains about their partner's level of desire for sex, there are common misunderstandings. Did you know there are different but equally valid types of sexual desire? We loved the opportunity to sit down again with Dr. Michael Sytsma (second-time guest; see also Episode 3) for a science-based and super-practical conversation largely …
 
"The brain is an organ sculpted by experience." In this episode we sit down with Dr Ed Tronick, a pioneer in the field of child psychology and Dr Claudia Gold, a pediatrician expert and advocate for the study of parent-infant mental health. We've delved into the importance of early experiences before but in this episode we look specifically at one …
 
Whether it's helping your kids with college tuition or having the financial margin to help your kids start off in life, getting your family finances in order is key. In today's culture we are constantly bombarded with messages to spend, spend, spend and accumulating debt, rather than making sustainable decisions for long-term success. Financial exp…
 
"Every teenager is a walking bundle of questions." If you have a teenager - guaranteed! - your teen has questions that may leak out, or remain bottled up. Kara Powell and Brad Griffin of the Youth Fuller Institute did research prompted by their passion to help parents and others who work with young people to better address our teens' tough question…
 
"Most things that seem complicated are actually just hard." This is a central idea that grounds Dr. Anita Phillips' work as a trauma therapist and life coach. Marriage is a primary relationship where the impacts of trauma - often trauma that occurred prior to the relationship - show up. And when it does, labelling behaviours and laying blame may co…
 
In this episode Smart Family Podcast co-host Dr Rob Meeder tackles common questions about behaviour and mental health. With over 20 years experience as a pediatrician, and now with a practice devoted solely to families and children dealing with behaviour and mental health issues, Dr Rob is well-equiped to talk about topics like behaviour, stress, t…
 
When you tell your child, "Don't let me catch you doing that again!", will they stop? Or will they just try harder the next time to make sure they don't get caught! That's one of the issues our parenting expert Alfie Kohn uncovers as problematic in the conditional parenting approach. He advocates for an approach to parenting that values children fo…
 
The paradigm of understanding behaviour is shifting. Where we used to just see positive and negative reinforcement as our only options to address misbehaviour, we are now urged to consider how stressors lead to stress behaviour. Join us in this extremely informative episode as we talk with Dr Stuart Shanker about reframing the behaviour we are seei…
 
If you want to know more about how to support your infant, child or teen's development in the context of the underlying neuroscience, this interview with an expert Infant, Child and Teen Psychiatrist will shed welcome light. Dr. Clinton combines her decades of clinical psychiatry practice with her passion to serve as a knowledge translator of the a…
 
Has stress over finances taken a toll on your relationship? Today's guest, Stephanie Sims, has drawn from lessons learned over many years of personal and client experience to establish her life's calling: helping others manage their finances and make progress toward debt-free living. In this episode, Stephanie shares invaluable insights and perspec…
 
In any given year, 20% of adults will be struggling with mental illness. That means a lot of marriages are impacted at some point during the marriage. Sometimes it can destroy a marriage when we see only the illness and not the person we once knew and loved. Or perhaps the burden is too much for the supporting spouse. How can partners help each oth…
 
Technology can be wonderful and it has made our lives easier in so many ways - even in the current pandemic. Yet it is also the "fire of our times" and a real flashpoint for many families. Why is that? Child Psychiatrist and author Dr Shimi Kang talks about this from a brain science perspective and explains how the various neurochemicals in our bra…
 
Limit setting with your child can feel like a parenting task that creates distance between you and your child. Jennifer Kolari is a child and family therapist who created a therapeutic model that encourages parents to treat kids with compassion while supporting behavioural change from the inside out. She teaches a method with the acronym CALM, whic…
 
Do you feel like you are always walking on eggshells to prevent a blowup at home? Does a child's behaviour come out of the blue? Child psychologist Mona Delahooke explains all of these things to us. Delving into Polyvagal Theory and past over-simplified "checklist" behavioural medicine, Mona urges us to see behaviour in a deeper and more holistic w…
 
Are you feeling stuck, overwhelmed or disconnected in your marriage? Worried how this is impacting the kids? Do you wonder if maybe splitting up is better than continuing on? Then this is an episode you won't want to miss! Toni and Carey Nieuwhof reflect together on how a marriage can become empty, and offer practical advice on how to turn it aroun…
 
We've had a couple of conversations over the past year about shame with Dr. Craig Brannan, and here we continue digging deeper. Craig shares some specific ways that parents (usually unintentionally) create shame in their kids. He also brings to light a song featured in the movie, Tangled, that demonstrates statements that invalidate kids. It's neve…
 
This past year has been so hard for families. With lockdowns, stay-at-home orders and closed schools, it has been hard for parents and children to adjust. Mental health issues have increased sharply. What can we do to help our teens? It's such a pleasure to have anxiety expert, counsellor and best-selling author Sissy Goff back with us again to she…
 
Autism has a well-defined set of diagnostic criteria. However, the behaviours often serve a purpose and if we take the time to ask "why?" it will lead to a deeper understanding of the person with an autism diagnosis. Dr Prizant has worked with people with autism for decades. In this conversation he challenges us to see autism in a new way.…
 
If you've suffered the loss of a baby or child, or someone close to you has, we believe this conversation will help. Devoted advocate for grieving parents, Candy McVicar experienced the loss of her first baby at 33 weeks gestation. She's committed to assisting other parents who've lost children, raising awareness of the types of care and support th…
 
What is ADHD exactly? Aren't all kids normally a little hyperactive? Can it be due to too much sugar in the diet? Should my teenager with ADHD be driving? Do stimulant medications actually work? If you have ever asked any of these questions, this episode is for you! We speak with Dr Russell Barkley - foremost expert on ADHD - on how ADHD is actuall…
 
If you've been married any number of years, you've probably at least started to question the naive optimism you entered your life together with. Forgiveness? We're so much in sync, yes we'll need it but we're good. We've got this! Even if you agree that you might face hard times at some point in your marriage, in the back of your mind you really do…
 
Are you one of the many parents dealing with your kids learning from home? Some parents we've been talking to are homeschooling their kids for the first time. Others are dealing with helping their kids learn online from home. While both these scenarios have significant differences, there are common elements. Today, we pick the brain of an experienc…
 
Wow we had fun with this episode! We wanted to make our conversation with Ian Morgan Cron and the Enneagram personality assessment super practical for you in this episode. So we distilled all the best from our recent conversation about marriage and parenting and then we find out how two married couples (yup - your hosts Rob and Toni and their spous…
 
How much screen use is okay? How can you ensure your kid's digital exposure benefits their development without causing harm? How do you guide your kids to develop life skills such as attention, appreciation and the ability to apologize when tech-driven communication trends tend to oppose these skills? Screen use and social media has been on the ris…
 
Childhood trauma is devastating. When a child's brain develops it is exquisitely sensitive to stress - before and after birth. Stress hormones literally rewire the brain, affect healthy attachment, and impair the development of pathways that promote self-regulation. This means that when we see highly dysregulated behaviour it is often due to childh…
 
There's a lot of talk about how adult behaviour is driven by the underlying desire to mask shame, but when the rubber hits the road and you're parenting babies or young children, what can you do to prevent shame from developing in your own kids? While there's still so much undiscovered territory on this topic, there are some super practical ways th…
 
Ever wonder how you're going to move beyond exposing your kids to educational materials, when you look around and see no Black people in your neighbourhood? How do we as parents act as change agents to instill attitudes of anti-racism in the next generation? Today we have that conversation with Ashlee Eiland and Dr. Bryan Loritts - both pastors and…
 
Have you ever left an argument with your husband or wife feeling unsatisfied - that their apology was lame? On the other hand, has your spouse ever accused you of saying "I'm sorry" but not really meaning it? Yet, we know that not making amends leaves us open to being blocked in our marriage by walls that are built of unresolved hurts. In this eips…
 
Should I monitor my teenager's texts? Should I buy my 11 year-old a smartphone? How much screen time should my son get? If these questions resonate with you, then this episode with Jeff and Wendy Henderson will offer some practical guidance. It's not easy being a parent in a tech-filled world. There are so many good things about technology and the …
 
The pandemic has been a crisis on so many levels. Not surprisingly, it has had a real impact on our closest relationships as well - for better or for worse. Today Dr Gary Chapman - author of The Five Love Languages - teaches us five simple ways we can strengthen our marriages, even when it feels like we are stuck at home together. There's actually …
 
Do you lie awake at night wondering whether the fighting between you will impact your kids? Do you feel stuck at an impasse over a marriage or parenting issue and not sure what to do next? Experienced mediator Lisa Emms Wice has helped countless people up their peacemaking skills. She shares her wealth of wisdom for couples and parents alike. Lisa …
 
If you are a parent about to enter, or in the middle of, the teenage years - this episode is for you. We have an open and honest conversation with Dr. Kara Powell - Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute. Kara has done extensive research into teenagers and anxiety. Although she approaches the issue from a spiritual perspective, her insigh…
 
Expecting a baby and giving birth is supposed to be a happy occasion and a time of love and bonding. For so many parents however, it is a time of struggle and deep emotional pain, like being in a fog. The accompanying guilt and loss of function can rob a mother or father of the opportunity to nurture and bond with their newborn baby and strengthen …
 
There have been many books written about effective discipline in children but few as popular as Dr Tom Phelan's 1-2-3 Magic. In this episode we talk with Dr Phelan and draw upon his decades of experience helping families. We discover that 1-2-3 Magic is about much more than simply counting. We delve into why this simple technique works - how it all…
 
As parents, we get a front row seat as our children develop and mature. We go through all the highs (and some lows, too) as their individual personalities come to light, and sometimes clash with our own. In this episode we discover how childrens' personalities are shaped and how they are influenced by our personalities. In this second part of our d…
 
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